The National Curriculum Framework (NCF), a set of curricular guidelines that form an important part of National Education Policy (NEP), for all levels would be released in the coming months. The Education Ministry also announced that updated textbooks would be introduced for the academic year 2024-2025.
At present, NCF for the foundational level covering preschool to Class 2 has been released by the Education Ministry. The updated textbooks will be printed in twenty-two languages. The CBSE has already adopted the updated curriculum guidelines for the 2023-2024 academic year and will release textbooks for classes 1 and 2 at the end of the month.
Former ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) chief K Kasturirangan is the head of the expert committee involved in the development of NCF. It must be pointed out that Kasturirangan also helped in the shaping of the NEP.
The process is being overseen by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) with inputs from 25 national focus groups. After the new textbooks are released the government will align the syllabus with its assessment platform PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development).
NCERT books will be made available in twenty-two Bharatiya languages included in the Constitutions VIII schedule as asked by the Education Minister. Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan chaired a high-level meeting on the new National Curriculum Framework and new textbooks based on NEP 2020 in New Delhi. Senior officials from NCERT, the Secretary of School Education, and members of the National Steering Committee on National Curriculum Framework attended the meeting.
“Pradhan also announced that the NCERT’s learning-teaching material, Jaadui Pitara, will be distributed as open educational resources to every school. He highlighted the need to transform this initiative into a mass movement, encouraging creative and innovative youth to develop various learning-teaching materials”, SwarajyaMag reported.
The Union HRD Ministry decided to revise the school curriculum and initiated a new National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for school education in June 2020. It is pertinent to mention that this revision of the curriculum is taking place after a decade and a half. This is the fifth revision of the NCF with previous revisions having been done in 1975, 1988, 2000 and 2005. NCERT has been directed to ensure that the cognitive load of textbooks be reduced, and additional areas like creative thinking, life skills, Bharatiya ethos, and art be integrated with the core content.
Several experts evaluated the transformation brought in by this revolutionary document (NEP) and the road ahead. “One of the major reforms of the policy is increased international collaboration between institutes. This gives students the flexibility to plan their education in a way that gives them global exposure and more options than ever. NEP focuses on enhancing students’ overall learning experiences and making education more skill-based and international, which would eventually lead to an upskilled workforce”, said Kunal Vasudeva, Co-founder and COO of the Indian School of Hospitality.
“National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, is a progressive education policy that has the potential to impact a large population in a country like India”, said Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman of FICCI Arise & Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions.
“The transformational education policy NEP 2020 has kept the educator and the learner right at the centre. The policy lays emphasis on teachers providing quality education to learners by diverting their attention from non-teaching tasks”, said Amit Kapoor, Co-Founder of Eupheus Learning.
NCERT and other school textbooks, especially those on history and social science, used by central and state education boards have long been criticised for presenting a distorted and colonised view of Bharatiya civilisation to meet certain political objectives. The revamped curriculum and textbooks are expected to rectify the errors.